Monday, November 18, 2013

My Review of Atlantis's 1x08: "The Furies"

Written by Julian Jones
Directed by Alice Troughton

Jason (to Arcas, re Pythagoras): “He’s the kindest man I’ve ever known.”

Thanks to this episode, that is a sentiment that I feel does not change how Pythagoras should be overall viewed as well. I’ve wanted a centre piece episode for Pythagoras for a while now and finally this episode was obliging. More to the point, it was actually great with some lovely character moments in it as well.

Having it revealed that Pythagoras inadvertently killed his abusive father in order to defend his mother certainly didn’t lessen my view on the character. It was clearly something that Pythagoras regretted and was even willing to allow himself to be killed by the Furies if it meant his friends were spared as well.

While we didn’t need Jason to tell us that Pythagoras was a good man, nevertheless I was glad that he did say it and encouraged Arcas twice to forgive Pythagoras for killing their father as well. I also liked that Hercules too was quick to rally to Pythagoras’s defence as well. It’s because of this that I’m starting to believe in their friendship a lot more as well.

As for Arcas – I thought Will Merrick did a great job here. His acting has certainly improved since his days on Skins and overall he was far better utilised here than he was on Doctor Who a few months ago as well. More to the point, in spite of the character’s hot headed behaviour, I did at least understand his anger towards Pythagoras lying to him all these years as well.

While the forgiveness was a little rushed by Arcas, I do think that at least if the character returns for another episode, there are other avenues that they can explore with both him and Pythagoras as well. Overall, I certainly think this episode had a lot going for it.

First of all, while the Furies were a little quickly defeated towards the end, they actually managed to be pretty effective as a force. Plus, the fact that it was something unconnected to Pasiphae for a change probably helped cement my like for them just a tiny bit more too.

However the highlight of this episode was Robert Emms. Out of the three leads, he’s had the least amount to do so far but has been the strongest actor of the bunch. This episode worked extremely well because not only was Pythagoras well written and given an interesting enough back story but also because Emms did great work with the material given to him as well. I just hope now that this means Pythagoras will be more prominent for the remainder of the season as well.

As for the rest of the episode – I think we could a nice enough team of characters here. The legend with Baicus and Philemon was given a different twist here (though that could’ve done with a bit more fleshing out) and Nilus and Otus were decent enough supporting characters in a crisis/. However, out of the four characters, Baicus was probably the strongest of the bunch, even if some of her dialogue was a bit heavy handed in parts.

Also in “The Furies”

With the exception of Baicus and a brief appearance from the Oracle, this was probably the most male centred episode we’ve had so far.

Hercules: “Why did you have to wake me? I was having the most glorious of dreams. Medusa and I -,”
Jason: “- I really don’t want to know.”

For an episode that was mostly set in the desert, I’m surprised they resisted the urge to actually have one shirtless scene with Jason this week.

The Oracle: “I sense a darkness in your heart. Do you wish to share it?”
Pythagoras: “No. It is my burden to live with and mine to die with.”

Aside from being a cryptic mouthpiece, we still know naff all about the Oracle as an individual. This would want to change sooner rather later I think.

Pythagoras: “You should be careful how you judge people. I’ve put all of that behind me. You need to do the same.”
Arcas: “Yeah, thanks.”

Philemon: “I owe you my life.”
Baicus: “And a drink.”

I quite liked that Hercules had suspected Baicus and Jason had shown that he was listening to him too. Again, a good sign of character development for both characters.

Hercules (to Jason): “I’m gonna kiss you. You don’t have to kiss me back. Come on, come on.”

Pythagoras (to Arcas, re Otus): “It wasn’t him, it was me. Please, it was an accident. I didn’t mean to kill him. I swear to you it wasn’t my fault.”

This episode did not feature Medusa, Ariadne, Pasiphae or Minos.

Baicus (to Arcas, re Pythagoras): “People make mistakes and should be punished but people should also be forgiven.”

Chronology: Not sure how much time has passed since “The Rules Of Engagement”.

Now this is more like it. Seriously, if “The Furies” is anything to go by, then it’s proof that the writers can actually write something that’s character driven, emotionally engaging enough and something that strengthens the friendships with our three leads. Less contrived humour and more writing like this and this show can be as excellent as it’s predecessor became.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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